updated 2:19 PM UTC, Oct 15, 2020

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  • Lawsuit filed against Woodville Pellets

    IMG 1732CHRIS EDWARDS | TCB photo of woodville pellets

    By Chris Edwards
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    A federal lawsuit was filed last week against Woodville Pellets. The Sierra Club and Dustin Stafford, a Woodville resident, are named as plaintiffs in the suit.

    According to the text of the suit, the plaintiffs are alleging that the wood pellet manufacturing facility is in violation of the Clean Air Act, and has routinely used bypass smokestacks to circumvent the facility’s air pollution controls, resulting in

    The Environmental Integrity Project (EIP) along with Lone Star Legal Aid filed the suit on the plaintiffs’ behalf. EIP is representing the Sierra Club, while Lone Star Legal Aid is representing Stafford.

    The plant formerly operated under the name German Pellets, was constructed in 2012 and went on-line the following year. It was acquired in 2019 by the European-based biomass firm Graanul Invest, which is headquartered in Estonia. Graanul aslo purchased its sister plant in Port Arthur, which is now used for storage and as a shipping point.

    Under its previous ownership, the plant was found to have exceeded state pollution limits by emissions of 580 tons of gases, while it was only permitted to release 64 tons.

    Last year, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) required it to implement pollution controls, and gave Woodville Pellets an 18-month deadline, which began in April 2019, to construct a thermal oxidizer. The unit is designed to control pollution by decomposing hazardous gases at a high temperature before releasing them into the atmosphere.

    According to attorney Patrick Anderson, who works with the EIP, the plant is “dragging its feet” on implementing pollution controls, thus “forcing” the lawsuit. In the suit, attorneys allege that Woodville Pellets has not committed to a firm date for when the control will be installed and operating and will not begin construction on the controls until April 2022.

    “We’ve seen many wood pellet plants emitting vast amounts of illegal pollution,” Anderson said, “But most of those plants quickly installed the additional controls needed to operate within the law.”

    The attorneys allege in the suit that the plant has been “severely out of compliance with crucial Clean Air Act requirements that protect the health of the community.”

    Sarah Stephens, who works as an environmental officer for the facility, said there are no chemical emissions or any illegal smoke coming from the plant’s exhaust.

    She said the emissions are clean, for the process used by Woodville Pellets to convert woody raw material into small pellets (which are exported to be used for fuel and heating throughout Europe and the Pacific Rim) does not involve any chemicals.

    Stafford said that the purpose of the suit is not to shut down the plant, but to get it in compliance with the law and for it to be a good neighbor in Woodville.

    “Living with the smoke, dust and pollution from this plant in our backyard has been a nightmare,” said Stafford.

  • Abbott plans to visit East Texas

    Networking 071620PHOTO BY MICHAEL G. MANESS Former Mayor Jimmie Cooley networked with JEDCO Director Eddie Hopkins, U.S. Representative Dr. Brian Babin, NAPC President Lonnie Grissom, TCIC President Gil Tubb, and Texas Rep. Dr. James White at the Magnolia Bar and Grill in Woodville on July 6 to help schedule a visit to East Texas by Governor Greg Abbott. Pictured (L-R) are Grissom, White, Cooley, Babin, Tubb, and Hopkins.

    By Michael G. Maness

    WOODVILLE – Governor Greg Abbott is planning on coming to East Texas soon.

    Former Woodville Mayor Jimmie Cooley and Texas Rep. James White were visiting Abbott at his mansion in Austin, and Abbott expressed to Cooley an interest in coming to East Texas. Cooley said she would have to “check with her boys.”

    Abbott deferred to his scheduler who set a date with Cooley and White, then Covid-19 surged again, and that forced a rescheduling.

    Cooley networked with Eddie Hopkins, executive director of the Jasper Economic Development Corporation (JEDCO), who hosted a meeting at the Magnolia Bar and Grill in Woodville on July 6 with U.S. Representative Dr. Brian Babin (R-Woodville); Lonnie Grissom of the North American Procurement Company; Gil Tubb of the Tyler County Industrial Corporation; White and Cooley.

    They discussed options and will be working on a date with Abbott’s office to come to Jasper in the near future. Hopkins said, “We need more partnership with each other for the betterment and growth of East Texas.”

    Babin said, “Great to think regional. We need to meet together more often.”

    The meeting of economic shakers in East Texas also discussed the new sawmill coming to Jasper County, timber and logging in the area, the redistricting of Texas, the I-14 highway that will go through Woodville and Jasper, Mobile Oil Credit Union in Woodville, and much more.

    They also discussed the Alabama-Coushatta Tribe U.S. H.B. 759, and the need to get U.S. Senators John Cornyn and Ted Cruz to support that bill. It will, if passed, clarify gaming laws and allow the tribe to continue to operate its gaming facility, Naskila Gaming.

    Pappys 6x3 Grad20

  • Appraisal notices mailed

    USPS Mailbox copyCaleb Fortenberry | TCB Photo of USPS Mail box outside of Woodville, Texas Post Office taken on July 8, 2020.

    WOODVILLE – David Luther, chief appraiser for the Tyler County Appraisal District, announced that this year’s appraisal notices were mailed on Friday, July 1.

    Taxpayers have until July 31 to file a protest. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the office is closed to walk-in traffic. With a hopeful decrease in COVID-19 exposure and a hopeful increase in people wearing masks and social distancing, the district will review this on a week-to-week basis.

    “Notices normally are sent in May each year, but were delayed this year because of the coronavirus, in the hope that it would pass by now,” said Luther. The district faces deadlines it must meet in order to move on to the next process referred to as “truth-in-taxation”, which must be completed in September.

    Luther noted that there is only about a third of the number of notices that were sent last year.

    J. Michael Risinger Banner

    Property owners are encouraged to file a written protest in order to preserve an opportunity for a protest hearing before the appraisal review board. With strict guidelines in place, property owners will have to follow different procedures.

    Taxpayers must call the district and register for a return call, which may take some days or weeks. Taxpayers should consider filing a protest in case the July 31 protest deadline arrives before the informal session with an appraiser.

    The district is operating with its full staff. Property owners may call, email, mail, or fax the protest form. There is also available a drop box at the front door of the office.

  • Attempted ATM thief indicted

    MUGSHOT Aaron Rubins 070920MUGSHOT Aaron Rubins

    By Chris Edwards
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    A 32-year-old Houston man who was arrested in March for attempting to steal an ATM machine in Woodville was indicted by a federal grand jury last week.

    Aaron LaKeefe Rubins faces charges of conspiracy to commit bank burglary and aiding and abetting bank burglary. In early March, deputies with the Tyler County Sheriff’s Office responded to an incident at the First National Bank located at the corner of US Highway 190 East and FM 1746 in Woodville, in the early morning hours.

    According to Sheriff Bryan Weatherford, three suspects had attempted to steal the bank’s ATM machine, and headed west toward Livingston. A pursuit began when the getaway vehicle was spotted near Hennigan Park, and ended in Polk County, where deputies with the Polk County Sheriff’s Office set up tire deflation devices near Indian Springs.

    J. Michael Risinger Banner

    Rubins was the sole suspect apprehended. The other two suspects existed and fled on foot. TCSO deputies and officers with the Alabama-Coushatta Police Department were unable to capture them.

    The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Texas alleges that Rubins participated in the attempted theft of the machine and that he, along with the two at large accomplices, used a stolen vehicle in the failed attempt.

    Polk County Assistant District Attorney Tommy L. Coleman is serving as prosecutor in the case. If convicted of the charges, Rubins faces up to 20 years in federal prison.

    Tammys Banner2

  • Caring is Sharing serves 300 families in Tyler County (Gallery)

    YoskoCALEB FORTENBERRY | TCB Scott Yosko, retired Woodville Chief of Police, helps out with Caring is Sharing’s food distribution effort last week. Yosko, a tireless volunteer in the community, has volunteered with the program for almost 30 years.

    Caleb Fortenberry
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    WOODVILLE – Friday, at approximately 10:00 a.m., Caring is Sharing volunteers, in conjunction with South East Texas Food Bank distributed food to over 300 families in the parking lot of the Woodville First Baptist Church.

    Vehicles crowded the roads around the church. Woodville Police Departmentresponded to help direct the large line of vehicles waiting to receive food.
    Each vehicle was given 30 pounds of fajita meat, milk, fresh produce, and a box of canned vegetables.

    The food drive was made possible by the South East Texas Food Bank through a USDA project. Farmers and anonymous donors gave the produce for the function, said CIS board member Gary McRight.

    In Conroe the South East Texas Food Bank was having difficulty finding somewhere to donate their produce. Conroe Police Dept. Officer Jimmy Waller, former Woodville Police Dept. Officer, told the food bank about Caring is Sharing and reached out to Tyler County Deputy Ricky Coker to help make the arrangements for the drive.

    “We were the only agency within 200 miles that were able to connect with them,” said McRight. “The closest town that’s a part of this right now is Willis-Spring Texas. That’s how far out we are from the regular distribution group, but they included us… Accidents don’t happen.”

    Retired Woodville Chief of Police Scott Yosko provided transport of the food to the residents in Tyler County who were unable to drive to the location of the event. “They just need some help. They may have 50 dollars left over after they pay their rent and they just really need some help,” said Yosko, who has been a volunteer for the CIS program for almost 30 years.

    Pappys 6x3 Grad20

    There were several volunteers for the event. “We’re thrilled that we could partner with South East Texas Food Bank and have an incredible team of volunteers out here that have worked very hard this morning to meet needs in our community,” said CIS board member Ashley Spurlock.

    While CIS does accept donations of goods, the amounts of food can be larger through monetary donations. "The donations from this area has saved Caring is Sharing, and honestly the monetary donations are so much more valuable,” McRight explained. “We can buy the food at Beaumont for 16 cents a pound.”

    The Woodville CIS location will be receiving a refrigeration unit provided by the South East Texas Food Bank from Beaumont, Texas, through various donations. The new unit will enable them to maintain foods for longer periods of time. McRight stated that the unit will hold produce, milk, and meat.

    CIS is open to the public Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 9:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m., located on 308 Beaver St. in Woodville. To find out how you can get involved with this organization, visit www.setxfoodbank.org.

     

  • Cone declares write-in candidacy

    Woodie Cone 100120Woodie Cone

    Yes, that means you have to write my name Woodie Cone on the ballot.

    We (my wife Lee) and I have lived in Tyler County for 30 years. We have lived in the Woodville city limits for 15 years. I am a former Captain in the Beaumont Fire Department, CPR instructor, emergency rescue, hazards material trainer and instructor. I retired from Beaumont Goodyear Chemical Company. I am also a US Navy veteran having served on the USS Independence CVA 62.

    For 30-plus years Tyler County and Woodville, TX have given us a wonderful and safe place to live. I call it God’s Country. We now feel it’s time for me to give something back. I am willing to give of my time and knowledge to help promote good will and safety for all people of Woodville. My mother always said “You should pray with a Bible in one hand and a shovel in the other,” meaning “Don’t ask for God’s help unless you’re willing to do the work.” God gives us strength of mind and body and expects us to use it for the better good.

    So, if you believe as I do, write my name, Woodie Cone, on the ballot for Mayor of Woodville, TX. But for sure, GET OUT AND VOTE.

  • Courthouse remediation deadline extended

    TCHC Award 081320CHRIS EDWARDS | TCB Mary Nell Rainey and Debbie Walker of the Tyler County Historical Commission are pictured with Judge Jacques Blanchette. Rainey and Walker accepted a Distinguished Service Award from the Texas Historical Commission, which Blanchette presented during Monday’s meeting of the Tyler County Commissioners Court.

    By Chris Edwards
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    WOODVILLE – Tyler County Commissioners voted Monday to accept an offer from the Texas Historical Commission to extend the deadline for the remediation requirements on the courthouse project.

    The agreement was signed between the county and THC last year in order to resolve a dispute concerning several modifications made to the courthouse by the county between the years 2015 and 2018 during the ongoing restoration project.

    The original agreement provided a 24-month timeframe, or by March 31, 2021, for the county to fulfill several measures required by THC, at the county’s expense. The new deadline for the requirements is Dec. 1, 2021.

    County Judge Jacques Blanchette said the offer from THC was due to the ongoing pandemic response and setbacks due to it.

    In another agenda item pertaining to the ongoing courthouse project, Blanchette had originally expressed the desire to resign from the steering committee. “I think the committee has done an amazing job in keeping up with all of the responsibilities,” he said, but added that he felt a need to step away if the work did not continue to progress.

    Ultimately, Blanchette withdrew his intention to resign from the committee at Monday morning’s meeting of the Commissioners Court.

    County Historical Commission receives award
    Members of the Tyler County Historical Commission were on hand to receive an award from the state Historical Commission. The group received the Distinguished Service Award for work done in 2019.

    The county Commission’s Mary Nell Rainey spoke about the work the group is doing and spoke of the thoroughness of chairman Bob Morris.
    According to the THC’s website, the county historical commissions which have received the award “document well-rounded programs that preserve and promote Texas history.”

    Update on county annex
    Precinct 4 Commissioner Buck Hudson gave an update on the Tyler County Annex building during Monday’s meeting. The building’s interior sustained water damage last August due to a water heater bursting and flooding the building.

    Hudson said the electrical and plumbing work has been mostly completed, and there is sheetrocking and painting work to commence soon. “Hopefully by next several weeks” the building will be ready, Hudson said. He added that since the work has begun it is moving along quite well.

    Since the flood, the tax assessor/collector’s office; the Department of Public Safety Driver’s License office and State Representative James White’s office have been temporarily located on North Charlton Street in the same suite of offices that houses the adult probation office.

  • Daily awarded scholarship

    Scholarship Daily 062520Hanna Daily

    WOODVILLE - Hanna Daily was awarded a $1500 college scholarship from the Tyler County Forest Landowner Association (TCFLOA).  Hanna graduates from Woodville High School this year and will be attending Stephen F. Austin State University with plans to major in agricultural development and minor in secondary education for a career as an agriculture science teacher. 

    Daily’s goals are to relay the importance of agriculture and share how it is vital to everyday lives, to have an active Ag-FFA program and to make sure that all her students know that they can have a future in agriculture. 

    TCFLOA, a non-profit organization, provides scholarships to students pursuing forestry-related fields.

  • King addresses Whitetail Ridge

    Mike King 091020CALEB FORTENBERRY | TCB Sheriff candidate Michael King speaks at the White Tail Ridge Volunteer Fire Department.

    By Caleb Fortenberry
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    WOODVILLE – Michael King, who is running for Tyler County Sheriff as an independent, spoke at the White Tail Ridge Volunteer Fire Department meeting last Tuesday. King discussed his career qualifications and what he hopes to change for the county.

    King also made a point to hear what the crowd had to say. The volunteer fire department, which is practically a cornerstone of the White Tail Ridge community, currently consists of nine volunteers. After scheduling conflicts courtesy of Hurricane Laura, the turn out of the event was near 10 individuals from the area. As concerned citizens and community volunteers, they wanted to voice their opinions for a change in how the Sheriff’s Department is operating in Tyler County.

    “We want to see what he can do for us. We want somebody who can represent us,” said local Lois Dobson.

    The two major concerns for most of the county, according to King, is the drug issues and accessibility of law enforcement.

    When asked by recent Louisiana transplant, Scott Preston, “What are you going to do for us, if you were elected?” King replied with a list of actions he would take.

    “What I plan to do, is without any increase in revenue, any increase in man power, is re-balance and demonstrate the leadership capabilities that I have, and actually take the resources that are already there, and balance them out so that every precinct will have assigned deputies working it,” said King.

    He also stated within six to nine months he would have two duel K-9 units, for bite and drug enforcement. The purpose being, not only back up for the deputy, but also for probable cause for drugs or paraphernalia.

    Fire Chief Robert Hoffman inquired, “How available would you be to the public?” To which King responded, “To sit here and tell you I’m going to have an open-door policy, every politician is going to tell you that. But I’ll tell you as well, I’ll be out working the streets. Because I’m not going to put deputies out there asking them to do something, I’m not willing to do myself.”

    King explained, “I’ll have a cell phone. That cell phone will be put out. I’m going to revamp the Facebook page so no longer will it say ‘this is who was arrested’. It’s going to allow comments, it’s going to allow people to go on there and see what’s going on in the county.”

    In the name of fairness, the Booster reached out to Sheriff Bryan Weatherford to address some of the concerns raised at the meeting. “This is not an excuse, these are facts… with our county being 923 square miles, we are limited sometimes to the time restraints to respond to incidents, but incidents depending on the nature of the call,” said Weatherford.

    “If any individual is calling and needing to report say a theft of some sort, something that is not a crime against a person, an immediate danger if you will, some of those calls we have to prioritize, these calls that come in,” he said.

    According to Weatherford, the sheriff’s department receives over 5,000 calls that require a deputy to physically respond per year.

    Weatherford wanted to reassure the public that, “In an emergency situation, we’re there as fast and hard as we can get there… 911 calls take that priority and they’re going to deal with any immediate danger, threat, or the immediate of assistance of someone’s well-being.”

    Responding to the notion of non-availability, Weatherford explained, “My cell phone is public, I’m so easy to reach. I urge citizens not to let their frustrations their concerns add up, that they reach out directly to me… I know I can’t make everyone happy, but we do our best no matter whether you like us or don’t like us to provide you with the best service as possible.”

  • Peaceful protest highlights sex trafficking

    Sex Trafficking March100120JIM POWERS | TCB Participants marched in an event to raise awareness of sex trafficking on Sunday.

    By Chris Edwards
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    WOODVILLE – A group of Tyler County residents gathered in the parking lot of the former Stage department store on Sunday afternoon to march through town. The cause behind the event was one that has received a great deal of attention recently: sex trafficking.

    Rachel Lea Valentine, who organized the event, said that the march was done to bring awareness to the issue, and to educate the public on “how we can all be a voice for victims of this form of modern-day slavery.”

    “I am so proud of our community and the support from all of the people who showed up and spoke up,” said Valentine.

    The proceeds raised from the event went toward the organization known as Operation Underground Railroad, which works to combat sex trafficking and also rehabilitates rescued victims.

    The impetus to organize such an event came from working with abused children, Valentine said. She also mentioned that the frequency of which sex trafficking crimes are reported through various forms of media provided a window of awareness to the issue on a global scale.

    “I’ve worked with kids for a long time; kids that have been abused sexually, emotionally, physically. Working with kids has always been my passion,” she said.

    Valentine said that although she was proud of the event and those who participated, it was "tainted" by the city not allowing vendors.

    "We met all the factors, so we're not understanding why [Woodville Mayor Paula Jones] shut down our vendors," Valentine said.

    The factors Valentine referenced are the criteria issued by Gov. Greg Abbott pertaining to outdoor events with regard to the ongoing efforts to curb the COVID-19 pandemic.

    Jones said that upon reviewing the planned event and Abbott's most recent order, it was determined that the event should be treated as a large-scale outdoor event. "Aside from a request for traffic control, the city received no formal request or notification regarding the event, which is clearly prohibited by order GA-30," Jones said. The executive order Jones referenced was updated by Abbott, and issued on Sept. 17.

    Jones added that her consideration of the event was done in a similar manner to the Dogwood Festival, which was postponed until June this year, "with the same conditions to maintain consistency and fairness," i.e. with mask and social distancing requirements and the no vendors restriction.

    Valentine said she and others involved with the event are still confused by the decision to not allow vendors. “We planned everything for a noble cause so to deny us this when it was perfectly allowable leaves us scratching our heads,” she said.

    Jones cited the text of Abbott’s order pertaining to gatherings in excess of 10 people, which are prohibited unless the mayor of the city in which the gathering is held approves of the gathering, and such approval can be made subject to certain conditions or restrictions not inconsistent with the statewide order.

    Valentine said that in the future she plans on doing a similar event in Conroe, and added that if anyone else is interested in hosting such an event, they can do so outside of the city limits.

    “Our county judge has the exact same powers in Tyler County [outside of the city limits] and allowed the food vendor we had [on Sunday] to set up right outside of Woodville city limits,” said Valentine.

    Facts about sex trafficking
    Sex trafficking takes on many forms, globally, from illegal massage parlors to forced marriages.

    The results from a study released in 2018 from the United Nations' International Labour Organization estimated that 3.8 million adults and one million children were victims of sex trafficking in findings from the year 2016, internationally.

    From that study, 99% of those victimized were reported as women and girls, although men, boys, trans, intersex and non-binary individuals were also victimized.

    There is no official up-to-date estimate of sex trafficking victims in the United States at present, but according to the Centers for Disease Control, about one in four girls and one in 13 boys experience sexual abuse at some point in childhood.

    If you believe you may have information regarding a trafficking situation, call the National Human Trafficking Hotline, toll-free at 1-888-373-7888, or visit the website www.humantraffickinghotline.org/chat to submit an anonymous tip.

  • Project planned to honor veterans

    Veterans HonoredStock photo courtesy of pixabay
     
    By Chris Edwards
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    WOODVILLE – The City of Woodville recently announced a citywide installation art project to honor and recognize Tyler County veterans.

    The project, which is being called the “Veterans Banner Project” will allow the public to pay homage to veterans in the form of customized banners, which will be on display throughout the city. City Administrator Mandy Risinger announced the goal of the project at last month’s regular meeting of the city council.

    According to Risinger, the project will be similar to the citywide honoring of Woodville High School’s recent graduating class, with the banners that were placed on utility poles. Each double-sided banner will be printed in color and measure 30” wide by 84” in height.

    The project is funded through sponsorships and donations, according to Risinger, which will cover the purchase and placement of the banners. Individuals, as well as families, civic organizations and businesses can all sponsor the tribute banners, Risinger said.

    J. Michael Risinger Banner

    Each banner will honor one specific veteran, and the criteria to get a veteran on a banner is that he or she must reside or have resided in Tyler County and have served in any of the five branches of the armed service (Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines and Coast Guard.)

    They can currently be active duty service personnel, be an honorably discharged veteran or have died in service, according to Risinger.

    The cost of each banner will be $150, and they will be displayed throughout the city in conjunction with such holidays as Memorial Day, Flag Day, Independence Day and Veterans Day.

    In order to have a banner printed to honor a veteran, applicants must provide a high-resolution photo of the person along with payment. The application forms are available at Woodville City Hall or by emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Along with the photo and the person’s name, if applicants wish, any wartime service can also be designated on the banner. For example, if the person honored served in World War II or Korea, that can also be listed.

    KentGore Web 28

  • Woodville approves go-ahead for city golf-cart ordinance

    Golf cart fairwayIngagestroliac | Stock image of a golf cart taken May 31, 2014.

    By Chris Edwards
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    WOODVILLE – The Woodville City Council greenlit the drafting of an ordinance that will allow for the operation of golf carts inside the city limits on residential streets.

    Councilmembers voted to approve the process and discussed several points related to the topic at the council’s regular monthly meeting on Monday evening. The item was brought to the council by Woodville resident Richard “Kooter” Shaw. City Administrator Mandy Risinger shared a letter Shaw had written to request that the council consider such an ordinance.

    Shaw stated in his letter that his family’s golf cart is a convenient way to get around their neighborhood, and also detailed the safety features the vehicle has.
    Shaw also noted that he recently received a warning from a Woodville police officer while driving the cart, which Risinger said is not usually something city officers tend to, but the stop was initiated due to the COVID-19 restrictions as it took place on the grounds of Woodville ISD.

    City Attorney Brad Elrod outlined the legalities on the issue. Adding an ordinance on the city’s books, Elrod said, is the only way to allow for residents to use golf carts on city streets, according to the Texas Transportation Code. “If we do nothing, then legally, we can’t operate them,” he said.

    The only exceptions for areas where such an ordinance is unnecessary are on a beach, within two miles of a golf course or within a master-planned city.
    The designation of a master-planned city is usually that of a community much larger than a typical housing subdivision, and includes more amenities, such as parks, lakes, shopping outlets and restaurants. Risinger cited The Woodlands and Kingwood as examples of master-planned communities that evolved into incorporated cities.

    If an ordinance is adopted to allow for golf carts in the city limits, Elrod said, all of the normal rules of motor vehicle operation will apply. The vehicles will be allowed on residential streets, but not along state-maintained highways, except to cross them.

    Under an ordinance, golf carts will also be required to feature safety equipment, such as headlights and rearview mirrors.

    Project to honor veterans planned
    Risinger made the councilmembers aware of a project she said she wishes to pursue, in collaboration with civic organizations, is to obtain banners to display throughout the city to honor veterans.

    The project will be similar to the citywide honoring of Woodville High School’s recent graduating class. She said her goal is to get the project up by Veterans Day.
    Families, civic organizations, businesses and individuals will be able to sponsor veterans or active military service personnel to have the banners printed and placed, Risinger said.

    The city will maintain the banners and hang them, and use the brackets already in place from the WHS seniors’ banners, which number close to 90, said Risinger.

     

  • Woodville FBC welcomes new pastor

    Jay AbernathyJay Abernathy

    By Michael G. Maness

    Woodville First Baptist Church’s new Pastor Jay Abernathy came to town with the hurricane, with his first official Sunday message right after Laura flew through southeast Texas and Louisiana.

    In a way fitting, Abernathy is a born native Texan, and he relishes the challenges of life. He grew up in Richardson and has enjoyed the whirlwind of sports all his life.

    He knows crisis, too, having survived being struck by a car when he was eight years old. Risks and adventure appeal to him, and that is how he looks at ministry. In a Baptist Standard article, he was asked about his dream job, and he said, “Anything that was risky—climbing, flying, etc.—I broke 14 bones growing up. I have found that Christian ministry is as exciting as it gets! Inviting people to serve the God of all Creation forever…. Now, that’s a great leap. Isn’t it?”

    The FBC search committee aptly summed their final rationale for their choice. With experience pastoring and leading in churches and earned degrees from Baylor and Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, his experience in the church and love for people impressed them.

    FBC Worship Pastor Mark Tolar said, “He’s relational. We’ve had the best time.” He’s made a point to meet people as he can, even while moving from Lubbock to Woodville in the midst of the storm preparations, over 560 miles, which in most other parts of the country is several states away. He comes from Lubbock’s First Baptist Church.

    A family man—he and his wife, Kelle, have two daughters and a son, all successful, and so far, four grandchildren.
    Among his favorite places to visit is the Holy Land of Israel and the Sea of Galilee. He has developed several friends there and facilitates an ongoing ministry with them. “So much peace and power in one place,” he reflected upon Israel.

    The great writers he admires include the earthy prolific Catholic Brennan Manning, apologist C. S. Lewis, philosopher and witty literary critic G. K. Chesterton and theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer. He admires the great evangelists D. L. Moody and Billy Graham, the missionaries J. Hudson Taylor and Lottie Moon, and early Christian writers like St. Augustine.

    He loves working with his hands, be that carpentry, construction, or hiking the hills of our great country. He and his wife just took a hiking trip, a short break in the transition from Lubbock to Woodville. He enjoys golf, too—and several in FBC will be golfing with him. Outside of researching for messages and writing, he enjoys leisurely reading biographies.

    His heart in ministry goes back as far as he can remember. “I remember praying with my parents as young as five years old,” he said. He came to seriously contemplate his mortality after the accident at eight, and after he recovered, he accepted Christ. In a very real way, he has been involved with his church all his life.

    In a campus revival meeting, he reflected, “I confessed to God, ‘I am not good enough.’ And the Holy Spirit replied to my heart, ‘You are right. You’re not, but I AM!’”

    These days in ministry, he confessed, “The truth is that it isn’t about me, but is about the power of the Good News of Jesus that has sustained me ever since that day.”

    “Everyone has a vital task in the body of Christ,” he reported. “Just as Ephesians 4:11–13 states, my favorite part of this work is ‘equipping saints for ministry.’ It is incredibly energizing to help people engage in their personal Christian mission.”

    In addition to connections in the Holy Land, he has been a leader with Refuge of Light, a ministry for victims of sex-trafficking in Texas.
    As the FBC search committee reflected to the church prior to his coming, they felt his call to the ministry was strong. He believes in partnering with people and aiding them on their journey in following Christ and growing as faithful disciples. The church autonomy and the individual soul’s competency are Baptist doctrine, and ministry is about equipping members to co-labor in fellowship and on mission for the gospel.

    Caleb is one of his favorite Bible characters and the name of his son. Abernathy reflected on how Caleb “doggedly” pursued what God promised over the long haul of his life. To the Baptist Standard reporter, he said, “I believe we fear the future too often and sell out the purpose and passion of the church. The ‘high country’ is worth gaining, no matter the long obedience required.”

     

  • Woodville ISD approves Covid-19 items

    Patti Tucker 061820CHRIS EDWARDS | TCB Woodville ISD Board President Jimmy Tucker (right) presents his wife, Patricia, with a plaque commemorating her 30 years of service to the district.
     
     
    By Chris Edwards
    This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


    WOODVILLE – The Woodville ISD Board of Trustees held its regular monthly meeting on Monday evening, and approved several items related to the COVID-19 crisis and its impact on the district. Board members and district superintendent Lisa Meysembourg also discussed the possibilities of the coming school year in regard to finances.lisa quote

    Under one agenda item, which called for the consideration to approve a pay system and salaries for WISD, the board approved the system for the comingschool year, which includes a one percent, across-the-board raise.

    Business Manager Cody Jarrott said the salary raise proposal had to be retooled from an earlier version, due to COVID-19 concerns. Originally, the district hadhoped to give its employees a three percent increase to their salaries.

    Jarrott said the district has been exercising caution with the budget since the coronavirus pandemic hit, but also said uncertainty lies in what the state legislature will do in September 2021, with regard to school finance, as next year is a legislative year.

    Meysembourg agreed, and said the district wishes it could give a higher raise to its faculty and staff members but needs to be cautious. “We do need to recognize our teachers. It may not be much this year…but we want them to know how much we value and appreciate everything they do.”

    “We are being told through TASB to be very, very conservative for the next couple of years,” she said. “Most of the school districts I know are either freezing salaries or going with a one or two percent raise.”

    The new pay system also includes a pay grade chart, with compensation commensurate with the level of experience of the employee, as well as the type of position. “It gives flexibility, but it also provides very clear structure,” said Meysembourg.

    Prior to approving the pay system and raises, the board approved eight individual agenda items that pertained to COVID-19 concerns, which ranged from approving a waiver for missed school days for the period of March 17 through May 28 to approving a waiver from the ASVAB requirement.

    Tucker recognized
    Before it began the consent agenda, the board members acknowledged WISD retiree Patricia Tucker for her 30 years of service to the district. Tucker’s husband, WISD Board President Jimmy Tucker, presented her with a plaque and spoke about witnessing her inspiring qualities as an educator, including her dedication.
    Jimmy Tucker said that the board will honor the district’s other retiree, Gem White, next month.

    Other Business
    The WISD board members approved compliance certification of required employee security awareness training. Meysembourg said the district is 100% in compliance with this training, with all employees having completed the newly mandated security training measures.

  • Woodville takes down Corrigan-Camden 48-7

    IMG 0107PHOTO COURTESY OF ALBERT TREVINO

    By Albert Trevino

    WOODVILLE – The Woodville Eagles took down the Corrigan-Camden Bulldogs 48-7 on the Eagles’ home field on Friday.
    A constant string of turnovers, penalties and bad snaps hit a season high on Friday and prevented Corrigan from gaining any real momentum over the Eagles.

    Although the Bulldog defense held strong for most of the first half and made crucial stops, it was eventually worn down by Woodville later in the game.

    Corrigan was forced to punt on the opening drive, while the Eagles quickly reached the red zone, scoring on a touchdown pass from Woodville quarterback Jack Fowler to running back Jatavian Taylor.

    The first turnover occurred on Corrigan’s second possession, with a fumble recovered by Eagle defensive end Pop Prejean and taken 88 yards to the end zone for a touchdown. The extra kick was blocked, which made it 13-0 midway through the first quarter.

    During the second quarter, Woodville’s offense struck again with Eagle safety Trotter Moses breaking a key tackle on a short reception for a touchdown.

    The following two-point conversion was successful to extend the lead to 21-0 at halftime.

    The Bulldogs came out swinging to start the third quarter by recovering an onside kick, then capitalizing with their only scoring drive of the game.

    The touchdown play involved some trickery, as Bulldog sophomore running back JaVarion Williams threw a 41-yard bomb to sophomore back Anthony Harrell. The extra kick was good, putting seven points on the board for Corrigan.

    However, the Bulldog offense lost momentum on its next possession, where a bad snap resulted in Williams tackled on the wrong end of the field for a safety.

    The Eagle offense capitalized with receiver Jacorey Hyder scoring on a 33-yard touchdown catch, making it 29-7 midway through the third quarter.

    Corrigan then suffered a quick three-and-out, leading to the Eagle offense putting together a long scoring drive. Eagle safety Ralon Williams punched it in for the final two yards to get the rushing touchdown. This further extended the lead to 35-7 late in the third.

    Woodville scored twice more in the fourth quarter. The first was a one-yard touchdown run by Taylor. Following another turnover by Corrigan’s offense, Eagle receiver Ronald Washington caught a 50-yard touchdown pass for the final points of the night.

    This Friday, the Eagles play Little-Cypress Mauriceville for Woodville’s homecoming. Kickoff is at 7:30 p.m.

42°F

Woodville

Cloudy

Humidity: 100%

Wind: 14 mph

  • 03 Jan 2019 45°F 37°F
  • 04 Jan 2019 55°F 34°F